Posts Tagged ‘Ian McAllister’

New Chairman for Network Rail

Monday, 2 February 2009


Rick Haythornthwaite

Network Rail has chosen Rick Haythornthwaite, to be its next chairman. Haythornwaite will take over from Sir Ian McAllister, who was strongly criticised after engineering overruns in the 2008 New Year period caused massive disturbance to customers. McAllister also faced widespread criticism over the size of bonuses paid to senior directors. At the Network Rail AGM in July this year, the members of Network Rail voted in favour of undertaking a review of the corporate governance of the organisation and McAllister  revealed his plans to step down. 

Rick Haythornthwaite graduated from Queen’s College, Oxford, with an honors degree in geology and subsequently completed a Masters degree in Business Management at MIT.

He began his career as a geologist at BP. Over a period of 17 years, he served the company in several capacities, including as general manager of the Magnus Oilfield and as president of BP in Venezuela. He was a Corporate and Commercial Director of Premier Oil plc from 1995 to 1997, and thenworked as Chief Executive of cement company Blue Circle. In 2001 he became Chief Executive of engineering conglomerate Invensys and served in that capacity until 2005.

Haythornthwaite is a managing director at STAR Capital Partners, an independent investment fund management company, and he is the chairman of MasterCard Inc.

Haythornthwaite is also chairman of the Better Regulation Commission, an independent body that advises the British government, and he serves as a non-executive director at ICI. He is a member of the MOT Leadership’s Centre advisory council.

He is chairman of the Almeida Theatre Company and of the Tate Gallery’s Corporate Advisory Group. He is also on the board of the British Council.

Shrimps lead the way for animal rights

Friday, 9 May 2008

Animals must be carried in the proper container

It’s good to read in the China Post that the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) is ignoring the prejudices of its humans and is prepared to move forward on providing equal transport rights for animals. When a survey indicated that 72% of TRA clients were against allowing pets to travel by rail, TRA bosses rapidly commissioned a new survey that came up with the results that government legislators wanted. The move emulates the amazing management style of UK Network Rail chairman, Ian McAllister, Polish rail managers please read carefully.

The (TRA) has decided to launch a trial run for “pet cars,” starting July 1, allowing passengers to travel with their pets, a top TRA official said yesterday.

Fan Chih-ku, director general of the TRA, made the remarks in response to interpolations from legislators after delivering a report on the current transportation business of the TRA and how to upgrade its competitiveness.

Yang Cheng-teh, a division chief of the TRA, said that in a survey done in 2003 by the TRA, up to 72 percent of respondents expressed opposition to passengers carrying pets with them, and some people even appealed to the Control Yuan, the government’s highest watchdog, against the practice.

The TRA already completed a new public opinion survey in mid-April, and will work out a set of measures concerning launching “pet cars” in accordance with the positive findings of the new survey.

Dogs, cats, fish and shrimps travel on THSRC.

On another front, the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp. allows passengers to take dogs, cats, fish and shrimps with them when getting aboard the high-speed rail system, as long as they’re well packed, won’t defecate or urinate in the cars.

(Click for full story)

The Reason WHY – part 3

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Following our foray into how the UK Treasury stymies government freedom to act regarding the sensible allocation of resources to the various transport modes, it’s time to take a close look at the management style of the boss of Britain’s rail network. Christian Wolmar does this very well indeed in an article on his website. Read the extract below to see how he rates the future of Network Rail chairman, Ian McAllister. (See picture.)

Xmas chaos highlights flaws in rail structure

TSSA Journal, March 2008

Nothing characterises the flawed structure of the rail industry better than the jaunt to Buckingham Palace by the chairman of Network Rail, Ian McAllister to collect his knighthood. Unfortunately for McAllister, it coincided with the day his company was fined £14m by the rail regulator for the post Christmas chaos at Rugby and two other sites

This is not just a matter of scoring a debating point against a fat cat. McAllister’s lack of concern over the Rugby incident in the first place, when he told the Daily Mail that he would just be in the way if he went into the office during the holiday break, suggests that neither taxpayers nor the railway are getting much benefit from the £250,000 he is paid annually.

McAllister’s failure to recognise the PR damage he caused is illustrative of the arrogance that permeates the company culture. While things have undoubtedly improved since the Railtrack days when the company alienated not only passengers but the whole of the rail industry, there is still little recognition among its bosses of the hugely privileged position they are in, given that Network Rail is a monopoly funded by almost endless amounts of government cash.

Rugby and subsequent events have raised very fundamental questions about the future of Network Rail. The fact that the only way to discipline the company is through fines whose only effect is to reduce the amount available to invest in the industry has not been lost on ministers. Network Rail is one more debacle – either a similar major overrun or an accident – from attracting a thorough investigation of the way that the industry is structured and Network Rail’s role in it. Watch first, though, for McAllister’s quiet departure in the next few months.

(Click for original article.)